Faith in Action Blog

Faith in Action Blog

June 11,
2012

Sr. Mary Andre, O. Praem (’11) and Sr. Mary Thomas, O. Praem (’09)

Sr. Mary Andre, O. Praem (’11) and Sr. Mary Thomas, O. Praem (’09)

On June 6, the Feast of St. Norbert, two alumnae of Thomas Aquinas College took their religious names and were vested in the habit of the Norbertine Canonesses at the Bethlehem Priory of St. Joseph in Tehachapi, Calif. Thus, by God’s grace, Alison Bright (’09) is now Sr. Mary Thomas, O. Praem. (after the College’s patron, St. Thomas Aquinas!), and Annie Huguelet (’11) is now Sr. Mary Andre, O. Praem (after St. Andre Bessette).

Deo gratias!

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Director of Alumni Relations Mark Kretschmer notified alumni last night that after a week-long search for John Morris (’03), a freshman at the College in 1999-2000, authorities had discovered his body.

Mark asked alumni to “pray for the repose of John’s soul and for the comfort and solace of  his family and friends during this very difficult time.” He added that “Rev. Hildebrand Garceau (’78), one of the College’s chaplains, will say a Mass for John next Thursday, June 14 at 5:20 p.m. in the College’s Chapel. Of course, everyone is welcome to attend.”

May his soul, and those of all the faithfully departed, rest in peace.


John Morris ('03)Director of Alumni Relations Mark Kretschmer has sent out this prayer request for John Morris (’03):

“Please pray for the safety of John Morris ('03) who has been reported missing since May 26. He went missing after spending the day with friends at a baseball game in his home town of Durham, North Carolina. He was going to make a quick stop at the grocery store on his way home, but never came home. His roommate and friends say this is ‘completely out of character’ for John and are very worried about him.”

The alumni of Thomas Aquinas College are joining together to say the following novena to St. Anthony of Padua for for John's return:

O wonderful St. Anthony, glorious on account of the fame of your miracles, and through the condescension of Jesus in coming in the form of a little child to rest in your arms, obtain for me of His bounty the grace which I ardently desire from the depths of my heart. For the safe return of John Morris:

You who were so compassionate toward miserable sinners, regard not the unworthiness of those who pray to you, but the glory of God that it may once again be magnified by the granting of the particular request: for the safe return of John Morris, which I now ask for with persevering earnestness. Amen

Pray one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be  in honor of Saint Anthony.

Saint Anthony, pray for us!

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While many Catholics across the country, including numerous Thomas Aquinas College alumnae, have protested the Obama Administration’s HHS mandate by citing religious freedom, others are also challenging it on a more fundamental level. They are questioning not only the federal government’s power to force Catholic employers to provide contraceptives and abortifacients, but also its stated reasons for doing so. “Is it really,” they ask, “in the best interest of women, marriage and family, society, or the environment to promote the use of oral contraceptives and other such medications?”

No, says Dr. Pia de Solenni, an ethicist, theologian, member of the Thomas Aquinas College Class of 1993, and recipient of the 2001 Pontifical Prize of the Academies. Last Saturday Dr. de Solenni spoke at The Pill Kills 2012, a national symposium held in Washington, D.C., and sponsored by the American Life League and 30 other pro-life groups. Presenting the teachings of the Church, Dr. de Solenni drew on references ranging from popular culture to St. Thomas Aquinas, noting how modern conceptions of love and sexuality are inherently truncated and unfulfilling.

“All of our cultural references, and all of our examples of ‘chick lit’ — from Bridget Jones to Sex and the City to Bridesmaids — they’re all manifesting a deep dissatisfaction, a sense that you have to do things this way because that’s the way it’s done. And yet they’re all yearning for something more,” said Dr. de Solenni. “When the Church is looking at sexuality, there is a context here, and it is a context shaped by love. Contraception impedes the sexual act between spouses because it holds back fertility. It’s not a gift of self.”

Dr. de Solenni’s presentation is available in the above video, and the rest of the symposium can be found on the American Life League’s YouTube Channel.


Katie GatesAfter a long struggle with cancer, Mary Kathleen Lear (Katie) Gates — mother of Nora (Bulcher ’04) and mother-in-law of Peter Bulcher (’05) and tutor John Baer — died this past Saturday. A mother of 8 children and the grandmother of 29, Mrs. Gates was a pioneer in homeschooling and a member of several choirs. Her complete obituary is available via the Ventura County Star.

A rosary for Mrs. Gates will be held on Friday, June 8, at 7 p.m. at St. Sebastian Church, 235 N. Ninth Street in Santa Paula, Calif. A funeral will be held on Saturday, June 9, at 10:30 a.m., also at St. Sebastian. Interment will follow at Santa Paula Cemetery.

Please pray for the repose of Mrs. Gates' soul and the consolation of her family.


Rosie Grimm ('10)Please keep praying for Rosie Grimm (’10). The latest report from her family reads:

“We didn't get good news ... the nodules in Rosie’s lungs have grown somewhat. They’ll be meeting next week to discuss the next step. Thanks, as ever, for your prayers ... this is hard news, but we know God has a plan.”
 
The Grimms asks that friends seek the intercession of Bl. John Henry Cardinal Newman, on Rosie’s behalf, through the following prayer:
 
O God, who bestowed on the Priest Blessed John Henry Newman the grace to follow your kindly light and find peace in your Church; graciously grant that, through his intercession and example, we may be led out of shadows and images into the fullness of your truth, and that Rosie be speedily and completely healed. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

God our Father,
your servant John Henry Newman
upheld the faith by his teaching and example.

May his loyalty to Christ and the Church,
his love of the Immaculate Mother of God,
and his compassion for the perplexed
give guidance to the Christian people today.

We beg you to grant the favors we ask
through his intercession
so that his holiness may be recognized by all
and the Church may proclaim him a saint.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.


Over the weekend two alumni of Thomas Aquinas College were ordained to the sacred priesthood, bringing to 55 the total number of alumni priests!

First, on Friday, May 25, the Most Rev. J. Augustine DiNoia, O.P., Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, ordained Rev. Jerome Augustine Zeiler, O.P. (’00) at St. Dominic Church in Washington. D.C. The following day, the Most Rev. Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, conferred the Sacrament of Holy Orders upon Rev. Fadi Auro (’03) at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis.

Rev. Jerome Augustine Zeiler, O.P. (’00)Fr. Zeiler is the fifth alumnus of the College to become a Dominican priest. After graduating from the College in 2000, he pursued graduate studies at the University of Dallas, then entered the Order of Preachers in August, 2005. He earned a Bachelor of Sacred Theology and a Master of Divinity at the Dominican House of Studies and a Licentiate in Philosophy at the Catholic University of America. His first priestly assignment will be as a parochial vicar at St. Gertrude Parish in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Rev. Fadi Auro (’03)Born in the United Arab Emirates, Fr. Auro is the child of Iraqi Chaldean Christians who moved to the United States at the start of the first Persian Gulf War in 1991. While studying at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, Fr. Auro first met Raymond Cardinal Burke, then the Archbishop of St. Louis, who invited him to become a seminarian in the archdiocese. Fluent in several languages, Fr. Auro is a “bi-ritual priest,” able to offer the Mass in both Eastern and the Latin Rites.

Fr. Zeiler and Fr. Auro are the first of five alumni who are set to be ordained to the priesthood this summer. The others are: Rev. Mr. Joseph Bolin, Class of 2001 (Diocese of Vienna, June 15); Rev. Mr. Francis Marotti, Class of 2007 (Diocese of Kalamazoo, June 23); and Frater Maximilian Okapal, O.Praem., Class of 2002 (Norbertines, June 23).


The Great BooksThe picture to the right comes from the College’s Facebook page. It depicts three of the College’s newest alumni — Nathan Dunlap (’12), Kellie Schramm (’12), and Noel Bulger (’12) — beside a stack of (almost all of) the great books they read while students in the College’s integrated academic program.

Although they have all completed the same curriculum, these three graduates plan to serve the Church and society in three distinct ways: Mr. Dunlap will be working as an animator, with hopes of one day making films. Miss Schramm will become a teacher for Mother of Divine Grace School, a distance-learning program. And on Commencement Day, Mr. Bulger accepted a commission as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps.
 


William Sockey (’75) and the National Pilgrim Virgin StatueAmong the many Thomas Aquinas College alumni who are actively defending religious freedom in the face of the HHS Mandate is Bill Sockey (’75) — and he is doing it through prayer.

As the Custodian of the National Pilgrim Virgin Statue, blessed by His Holiness Pope Paul VI and given to the United States by the Bishop of Fatima in 1967, Mr. Sockey brings the statue to dioceses across the United States. In this capacity and with the World Apostolate of Fatima (WAF), he has for the last three years promoted a campaign urging Catholics to make reparation for the sins of the country and to pray daily for national peace.

Now, as a consequence of the HHS mandate, a new intention has been added to this prayer — as requested by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops — for the preservation of religious freedom. So far over 25,000 new members of WAF have pledged to say this prayer and make this reparation every day.

The prayer is:

“O my God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love Thee and I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love thee.
 
“O my Jesus, I accept and bear with submission whatever suffering I will encounter today for love of You, for the conversion of sinners and as reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

Previously Mr. Sockey served as the vice-president of Catholics United for the Faith and the World Apostolate of Fatima as well as the executive director of the Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima, the Couple to Couple League for Natural Family Planning, and the St. Thomas More Center for Catholic Family Life.

For more information about the World Alliance of Fatima — including arranging a visit of the National Pilgrim Virgin Statue to your diocese, see — www.wafusa.org.


Fr. Erickson offering Mass in the extraordinary form

Last weekend St. John Vianney College Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., was the setting for Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite for the first time since adopting the vernacular shortly after Vatican II. Serving as celebrant was Rev. John Paul Erickson (’02), Director of the Archdiocesan Office of Worship for St. Paul and Minneapolis. More photos from the Mass are available at the New Liturgical Movement website.

After graduating from the College in 2002, Fr. Erickson returned to his native Minnesota as a seminarian. In 2006, he was ordained to the holy priesthood at the hands of  the Most Rev. Harry Flynn, Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis. He then went on to serve as an associate pastor at the Cathedral of Saint Paul, the Church of Saint Vincent de Paul, and the Church of Saint Agnes. Since 2008 he has served in his current position as the Director of the Archdiocesan Office of Worship while still assisting at Saint Agnes.

Fr. MoriartyFr. MoriartyNotably Fr. Erickson will soon be working with a new pastor at Saint Agnes — his fellow graduate, Rev. Mark Moriarty (’95). Ordained to the priesthood in 1999, and currently the pastor of Mary, Queen of Peace in Rogers, Minn., Fr. Moriarty has been named the new pastor of Saint Agnes effective July 1. He will be replacing Rev. John Ubel, the newly appointed rector of the Cathedral of Saint Paul and pastor of the Cathedral parish .